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It's state fair season! If you can't make it out to the fairgrounds and need a funnel cake fix, you can have it any time of year with this healthier alternative. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe!)

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Basic Funnel Cake Ingredients:
  • Butter/oil
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Toppings: Powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate sauce, etc.
  • Deep-fried in oil!

Changes Made:

  • Butter/oil
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Added cinnamon and vanilla extract to dough
  • Eggs
  • Toppings: Powdered sugar, whipped cream, fruit, chocolate sauce, etc.: Use in moderation!
  • Deep-fried in oil! Baked in hot oven to eliminate excess fat and calories from oil absorption

Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

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Baked Funnel Cakes (Printable PDF Version)

Makes about eight 4"-diameter funnel cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Optional toppings: Powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, fresh fruit, chocolate sauce*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine water, butter, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large saucepan. With a wooden spoon, stir until it comes to a rolling boil.
  3. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and add flour.
  4. Stir vigorously until the ingredients form a ball, then remove from heat. Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Once cool, transfer dough ball to a large bowl add in one egg at a time. Beat with a wooden spoon until each egg is incorporated.
  6. Transfer dough to a pastry bag or gallon-size freezer bag, then cut off the tip from the corner.
  7. Squeezing pastry bag, make four 4-" diameter circles on each baking sheet.
  8. Make a criss-cross pattern within each circle, making sure all parts connect.
  9. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until dark golden. Place on cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar.
  10. Add toppings and enjoy immediately.

*Note: Adding toppings will change the nutrition facts (e.g., adding toppings like large amounts of sugar, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream will increase the calorie count).

Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.